Codexis Announces Appointment of Dr. Arnold Demain to Industrial Advisory Board

Feb 11, 2003, 00:00 ET from Codexis, Inc.

    REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Feb. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Codexis, Inc., announced
 today that it has appointed Dr. Arnold Demain to its Industrial Advisory
 Board. Dr. Demain will advise the company in developing novel and dramatically
 more efficient fermentation based processes for natural product based
 pharmaceutical active ingredients using Codexis' proprietary
 MolecularBreeding(TM) and Whole Genome Shuffling technologies.
     Dr. Demain has been in the forefront of industrial microbiology and
 biotechnology for over four decades and has been involved in the research and
 commercialization of a number of fermentation based pharmaceutical processes.
 He is currently a Fellow at Drew University's Charles A. Dana Institute for
 Scientists Emeriti. Previously, Dr. Demain was at the Massachusetts Institute
 of Technology (MIT) for 32 years, where he most recently served as Professor
 of Industrial Microbiology in the Department of Biology. Before going to MIT,
 Dr. Demain spent fifteen years at Merck & Co., where he held various positions
 in R&D and management focused on fermentation microbiology. He founded the
 Fermentation Microbiology Department at Merck and directed research and
 development for several products, including monosodium glutamate, vitamin B12,
 streptomycin, riboflavin, cephamycin, fosfomycin and interferon inducers. In
 1969, he joined MIT, where he set up the Fermentation Microbiology Laboratory.
 Since then, he has published extensively on enzyme fermentation, biosynthesis
 of beta-lactam antibiotics and other secondary metabolites, vitamins,
 mycotoxins, mutational biosynthesis, bioconversions and metabolic regulation
 of primary and secondary metabolism. His leadership in the area of
 fermentation is evidenced by over 470 publications, 10 books of which he is
 coeditor or coauthor, 20 U.S. patents and his election to the presidency of
 the Society for Industrial Microbiology in 1990, membership in the National
 Academy of Sciences in 1994, the Mexican Academy of Sciences in 1997 and the
 Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 2001.
     Codexis' Industrial Advisory Board is comprised of recognized world
 leaders from leading pharmaceutical and fine chemical companies and academia
 having broad business and scientific experience. Dr. Demain will work
 alongside its other members:  Dr. David Dodds, Dr. Ian Fotheringham,
 Dr. Peter Pollak and Dr. Roger Sheldon.
     "Arny's addition to our Industrial Advisory Board highlights Codexis'
 commitment to utilizing our proprietary MolecularBreeding(TM) and Whole Genome
 Shuffling technologies to significantly improve fermentation processes for
 high-value natural product based pharmaceuticals," stated Alan Shaw, President
 and Chief Executive Officer of Codexis. "Codexis has an established track
 record of improving fermentation based pharmaceutical processes. In addition
 to our recently announced partnership with Lilly in the area of Whole Genome
 Shuffling, we have successfully implemented our MolecularBreeding(TM)
 technologies for fermentation processes currently being employed at commercial
 scale by DSM and Pfizer. Our Whole Genome Shuffling platform has the potential
 to revolutionize strain development for natural product and semisynthetic
 drugs, including antibiotics, anticholesterolemics and immunosuppressants.
 Together these product categories represent over $50 billion in annual
 formulated drug sales and are key targets for Codexis. Outside the
 pharmaceutical area, the Whole Genome Shuffling platform can help enable
 fermentation processes for a wide range of biologically-based chemicals,
 monomers, flavors and fragrances and biomass-derived fuels for alternative
 energy production and sustainable development."
     "Often in fermentation-based syntheses, critical process characteristics
 like productivity, yield and minimization of byproducts are controlled by
 extremely complex metabolic mechanisms within the production microorganism,"
 said John Grate, Vice President of R&D and Chief Technology Officer. "The
 classical approach to fermentation strain improvement involves random
 mutations and massive screening for stepwise improvements. More recently
 developed genetic engineering approaches involve performing fundamental
 research to understand the complex mechanisms. Both of these strategies are
 laborious, costly and time consuming. In contrast, Codexis' Whole Genome
 Shuffling utilizes a strategy based on naturally occurring processes to
 rapidly evolve fermentation strains without requiring any knowledge of the
 underlying biological mechanism or the use of genetic engineering protocols.
 The end result is an improved strain which can produce a greater amount of
 product in a shorter period of time with less unwanted by-products."
     Codexis, Inc. is a provider of biocatalysis and fermentation processes and
 products to the life science and fine chemical industries. Codexis'
 proprietary MolecularBreeding(TM) directed molecular evolution technologies
 allow for the rapid discovery and development of improved or novel processes
 for the efficient and cost-effective synthesis of valuable chemicals utilizing
 breakthrough biocatalysts and production strains. Codexis provides its
 customers with R&D services, proprietary biocatalysts and fermentation
 strains, processes, synthetic and natural products. Codexis has eight
 strategic alliances in the chemicals field, and over 24 potential products and
 processes in its R&D pipeline, with seven product candidates in development,
 including three processes now operating at commercial scale, with two
 generating royalty payments. The company is a majority owned subsidiary of
 Maxygen that commenced operations as an independent company in October of

SOURCE Codexis, Inc.